Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The relative serenity of Igbogene, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, was shattered Sunday when suspected gunmen attacked a Nigerian Air Force helipad, killing an airman in the process.
The helipad is being maintained by the Nigerian Air Force Mobility Command, which has its headquarters in Yenagoa.
According to investigations, the gunmen, numbering six, had stormed the helipad and opened fire on Air Force personnel on duty. The targeted personnel, however, repelled the attack by fighting back.
One airman was said to have been killed, with others were wounded, while the gunmen were said to have carted away arms and ammunition.
The leadership of the Mobility Command has briefed Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who has ordered an investigation into the incident.
A terse press statement from the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Olatokubo Adesanya, confirmed that Sadique has ordered a probe of the incident.
The statement read in part:
“In the early hours of Sunday, 13 May 2018, a group of unknown gunmen attacked the guard post at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Helipad at Igbodene in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Although the NAF personnel on duty were able to repel the attack, an airman paid the supreme sacrifice in the process. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has immediately ordered an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident”